Creating stand-out documents

We often forget that printed documents are not only judged by their contents but also by their appearance. While in some cases, presentation is not always the first consideration when reviewing a particular document, there are many instances where a document does need to stand out visually, in order for it to be considered impressive. Examples of this include:

  • CVs
  • Official correspondences
  • Business proposals
  • Article submissions
  • End of year financial reports
  • University dissertations

Presentation makes perfect

So we know the types of documents that will require a good standard of presentation as well as insightful contents. But how do we improve the look of documents to ensure they stand out and how can we keep them protected, to avoid any damage occurring to key pages? Here are some top tools we recommend investing in, that will help enhance your document presentation:

  1. Paper trimmer: Ensure every page of your printed booklet is uniform or resize a presentation poster with the help of a trimmer. Trimmers provide fast and effective cutting for home or office projects, giving a professional and consistent finish on a number of document types.

  1. Binding machine: Transform a bundle of plain printed pages, be that a proposal or student dissertation, into a sleek and professional book with the help of a binder. Find advice and tips on making the best use of a binder here.

 

  1. Laminator: Laminating is a great way to protect and enhance important documents, posters or printed presentation graphics. For example, simply putting a one-page corporate letter in a laminating pouch can turn a dull document into a polished printed announcement. Find the best laminator for you here.

Invest for success

Investing in tools such as binders and laminators may seem like a lot of trouble just to be able to make your printed documents look well turned out, but they may well be the key to standing out to the employer who has received your CV, the potential new client reviewing your proposal or the lecturer who is assessing your final dissertation. As well as this, those that own a binder and laminator will find that they are not simply tools for professional use. In fact both tools are just as useful at home in a variety of ways.

GBC believes in the power of a stand–out document, delivering innovative document finishing tools that enable users to create printed documents that leave a lasting impression. 2017 marks the 70th Anniversary of GBC. Since 1947, the brand has stayed at the forefront of cutting edge developments in the print finishing market. To find out more about GBC, please visit our website or follow @gbceurope on Twitter.

Documenting Success

Document finishing techniques such as laminating or binding are often regarded as a great way of turning a stack of pages into a well-presented and professional looking booklet or poster. It is sometimes considered that the finishing process is time consuming and too complex for those unacquainted with the particular machine. In fact a simple bound and laminated document can make a huge difference.

Presenting information professionally

Even in the digital age, tangible documents still matter. When presenting information in a meeting, a printed booklet will create a great first impression, in any industry. For example, in creative agencies, handing out hard copies during a major pitch that have been bound and laminated will give a professional edge over competition and reinforce brand image. In a financial firm, distributing copies of a presentation is essential so clients can have a closer look at charts and graphs discussed. In law firms, a laminator and binder are essential tools, when presenting case files or protecting crucial documents that need to be filed.

GBC’s document finishing checklist

Now we know why it’s worth taking the extra time to ensure your documents look presentable and professional, here’s a handy checklist of things to remember when finishing a printed document:

  • What will the document be used for?

The purpose of the document will usually determine what type of laminating or binding it requires. Also consider how long the document should last

  • What type of binding does it require?

If the document you’re binding requires security, such as proposals or company briefs, the best binder material is wire. In a school environment, using a comb binding machine is a better choice, as it is very cost effective and a quick and easy method when binding large numbers of booklets.

  • What is the best laminator choice for the document?

Pouch laminators are a great choice to give a school arts and crafts display a clean finish, while a roll laminator is better suited to professional environments to achieve a good looking document in minimal time. The amount you use it will determine if you need a small or large laminator.

  • Does the document require any finishing touches?

Once you have transformed your document, remember to give all the pages a final check through to be certain there are no issues. Remember to trim pages using scissors or a guillotine to ensure every page is uniform.

2017 marks GBC’s 70th anniversary. Since 1947, GBC has delivered cutting edge document finishing solutions to a variety of industries. GBC ensures that every business has the tools required to create professional and well presented meeting handouts, helping companies worldwide to impress in meetings and business pitches. Learn more about GBC and discover the best binder and laminator for your workplace by visiting our website or following @gbceurope on Twitter.

Breaking the boundaries with binding

Innovative artwork created using GBC binder as an essential tool

Using ordinary materials to create standout and thought provoking documents can be challenging, but that’s just what artist Philipp Gufler has done in his latest project. With prior work spanning a variety of media including print and video, Gufler’s latest piece is titled “Indirect Contact” and contains personal writings as well as a textual amendment and alteration of the German novel series “Die Geschichte der Empfindlichkeit” by Hubert Fichte to challenge the normalisation of sexuality.

Heightening the intrigue surrounding the book and elevating the work beyond that of a traditional printed piece relies on the artist’s original use of GBC ColourClear binding covers. Gufler printed his text directly on the semi-transparent binding covers, a process intended to “visualise the textual fragility and serve to demonstrate the transparency achieved by the textual deconstruction.”

Photo: Roman März, Berlin and BQ, Berlin. Courtesy of the artist and BQ, Berlin

 

These translucent coloured covers are typically used when binding documents to protect and enhance title pages. Gufler’s use of GBC’s binding covers to print the book creates a unique effect.

Gufler’s artist book was presented in the exhibition “Romankreisen” at BQ, Berlin. The limited edition print run includes 100 copies in English and 100 in German. His project demonstrates how it is possible to create stunning visual artwork from everyday materials.

Photo: Philipp Gufler. Courtesy of the artist and BQ, Berlin

Binding machines are a great way to add a spark of creativity in the traditional workplace environment, make your documents stand out and improve their durability. Have you ever thought about using a binding machine to create reference guides, instructional manuals, workbooks, kids craft books or school hand-outs?

There are various types of binding machines available, from comb binding to thermal binding. The type of bind you select will affect the end result and each adds a different look and feel to your document. Thermal binding uses heat to activate a strip of adhesive glue that firmly holds pages within a document, in a similar way to how many books or novels are bound. The results are permanent and pages can only be removed by tearing, making them a secure choice for document binding.

Take a look at the GBC guide on how to choose the best binder to discover what machine will allow you to take your presentations, displays and booklets to the next level.

Check out more works from Philipp Gufler by visiting his blog and find more details about his recent exhibitions at the Françoise Heitsch and BQ galleries.

Have you taken an ordinary item of stationery and used it to create something incredible? Let us know by commenting below or tweet us @RexelEurope.

What Generation Z Can Teach Us About Data Protection

 

Generation Z is the first generation that has grown up surrounded by the internet. They are the generation born in 1995 or later and follow the millennials that reached adulthood as we entered this century. Sure, most of the Millennials had access to the internet from an early age, but their childhoods didn’t revolve around being constantly connected. With their entire lives spent online, Generation Z will be inherently more tech savvy with expectations of speed and convenience to match. So, when it comes to data protection and staying safe online, what can we learn from the generation that was born multitasking?

Generation Z – always connected

 Use Less Permanent Apps

While Facebook may still be the biggest social channel, Generation Z has widely adopted Snapchat. They have already witnessed and no-doubt been warned of potential the blowback from poor decisions made on social media.  The temporary nature of Snapchat, where messages are only visible for a short amount of time, is deemed, convenient, fit for purpose.

A Facebook post can be broadcasted to everyone and will stay on your wall permanently unless you take it down. Perhaps Generation Z has become more self-aware. The concept of a picture or video only being broadcasted for a limited amount of time appeals to young people who have been taught to be aware of their digital footprint and will be mindful of future ramifications of their decisions in the digital space.

Embracing Biometrics

In the last twenty or so years, passwords have become a much greater part of our lives. With the explosion of the internet, we have all acquired more and more accounts for a range of different purposes, meaning we have a whole lot of passwords to remember – or at least we should have.

The reality is that most people are terrible with passwords. For optimal security, you should have a different password for each of your accounts. If you use the same for everything, your life can quickly unravel in the event that you are subject to identity theft or the company storing your data suffers a security breach. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to remember multiple passwords, meaning that much of the online landscape is quite insecure.

Rather than coming up with multiple obscure and difficult to remember passwords, Generation Z seems ready to take a different approach. They are much more likely to use biometrics than other generations, with 70% of young people saying they would prefer to use biometrics instead of passwords by the year 2020.

While the use of biometrics does have some of its own complications, fingerprints and facial scans can help to solve many of the problems with passwords. We can’t forget our biometrics in the same way we can forget a password, nor can we create fingerprints that are easy for computers to guess. In this way, Generation Z is beginning to solve some of the problems that older users often struggle with.

Biometric security authentification is now becoming common place

 

Keeping It in the Cloud

Generation Z is also more likely to use cloud services than older generations. The safety debate between cloud storage and traditional systems raged on for years, but in the end, the cloud seems to have won. There’s a chance they’ve been educated using devices that own a Chromebook that doesn’t even have a hard drive. Cloud services can be just as safe, but they also come with much more flexibility and scalability.  External hard drives, USB drives and file storage media such as DVDs will not be the first thought had when thinking of backing up or transferring files.

 Generation Z and the Future of Data Protection

Generation Z may only be starting to enter the workforce, but it won’t be long before they play a much more dominant role. Their perceptions of technology are radically different from those that came before them and they have definitely adopted good online behaviour but are also likely to have less awareness of the need to think about the security of physical devices and documents than previous generations.

 When it comes to data protection employers should take note of how Generation Z approaches and interacts with the internet.

Perceptions of convenience and efficiency are likely to be dominating factors contributing to data protection employee compliance levels.

If you’re concerned about user compliance when it comes to protecting your data consider our user-friendly Rexel Auto Feed Shredders that allow users to load a stack of paper and walk away, making shredding as simple as stack, shut, done.

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Rexel’s top workplace lighting hacks

 

Today’s employees will tend to spend most of their time at work indoors, whether that’s at home or within a company office. A major part of that indoor environment is the lighting. We often don’t think lighting is that important – as long as we can see the computer screen in front of us, it’s fine. But in reality, the strength and type of lighting we use to work does impact on our productivity and wellbeing.

A recent study found that 68% of employees surveyed had complained about the lighting situation in their offices, suggesting that lighting is actually at the forefront of many employees’ minds. So why does light matter? Poor lighting can result in discomfort whilst working, for example eye strain, enhancing glare on computer screens and in some cases, it can even lead to postural problems. So, in fact lighting is a major contributor to our wellbeing levels at work.

Shine the right light

When adjusting light, it’s important to remember that different tasks require varied lighting and positioning. For example, too much light while working on a computer can result in a glare on the screen. Another top tip is to consider the time of day you’re working in order to proactively change the lighting.

Positioning of light is also crucial. While many offices simply use overhead lighting, a desk lamp may be a better option for some tasks.

Consider also the type of light used in the workplace. It is widely known that natural daylight is the best kind. Studies have shown that while artificial sources of light left employees feeling more tired at the end of the day, daylight resulted in participants feeling more energetic and alert, allowing them to work for longer.

Top hacks for a brighter day

Now we know why lighting levels in the workplace are important, here are a few of our tricks to ensure you have a bright day both in and out of the office:

  1. Get outside

Make the most of your lunch hour by taking time away from your desk and going outside to enjoy the wellbeing benefits of fresh air and sunlight. A short stroll outside may be what you need to have a productive afternoon at your desk.

  1. Be flexible

While you may be accustomed to sitting in a certain area of the office every day, it may be the time to move. If you find that you’re not getting enough natural light at your current desk, it may be time to seek out a new seat.

  1. Bring the daylight to your desk

When moving around isn’t possible, there are other ways to bring daylight to your workspace. Rexel’s ActiVita Daylight desk lamps are designed to mimic the benefits of natural daylight, rejuvenating and energising you to continue working efficiently throughout the day.

Incorporating some of these simple tips could well be what you need to improve productivity levels and of course, your wellbeing and comfort at work. Innovative daylight lamps by Rexel ActiVita not only deliver the energy boosting benefits of daylight but also enable users to choose and work with the light they need depending on the task, without impacting co-workers. To find out more about the Rexel ActiVita desk lamps, please visit the Rexel website or follow Rexel on Twitter @rexeleurope.

The air of success

What’s in the air you breathe in your office?

How often do you think about the quality of the air surrounding you in the workplace? Unless there’s something obvious causing an issue, the pungent odour from a colleague’s lunch for example, then we tend not to worry too much about air quality.

But that’s a mistake. According to research, we spend on average 90% of our time indoors. Some people are lucky enough to have a job that allows them to venture outside more often, but for the rest of us we have to make the most of the light that makes its way through the corner window and the breeze that blows in from the open door. 

Sources of indoor air pollution impacting the quality of the air in a building vary greatly and can include:

  • Particles from printers
  • Coughs and germs from co-workers
  • Chemicals from cleaning products
  • Dust mites from chairs and carpets
  • Moulds and bacteria
  • Pollen carried in on clothes
  • Pollutants from outdoors

What to look out for in your office

There are a few common symptoms that indicate the quality of your office air may be causing issues:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Allergies
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Nausea

If you suffer from any of these symptoms or have staff showing signs of these symptoms, there may cause for concern. The American Industrial Hygiene Association provides a good summary of the impact of indoor air quality (IAQ).

Indoor air quality

When we think about the contributing factors to employee wellbeing, especially concentration and eye strain, noise and lighting are often considered before IAQ.

Damian Carrington, writing in The Guardian, reports statistics showing IAQ contributes significantly to ill health. Although the government and the World Health Organization set “acceptable” limits for air pollution, there’s no level of exposure that can be seen to be safe, according to the report.

A breath of fresh air

Personal air cleaners such as the ActiVita Air Cleaner deploy negative ions to improve the quality of air over a small area. The ActiVita Air Cleaner will look after an area 8m in radius, enough to serve a small team of office workers. Pollen is a great example of an indoor air pollutant. 1 in 5 people in the UK suffer from hay fever and pollen allergy symptoms are estimated to cause between a 3-8% decrease in productivity. Indeed, pollen can be more concentrated indoors than outdoors.

Negative ions attach themselves to the pollen particles to effectively remove them from the air. There’s a productivity gain to be had too; in a study conducted by Surrey University, people exposed to high levels of negative ions showed a 28% increase in overall task performance.

Check out the Rexel ActiVita range for more details about how a few changes to your workplace can help you feel healthier and happier.

Celebrate National Stationery Week in Style!

Even in the digital age, stationery remains an integral part of any workspace. It is not only useful in terms of its functionality to help us perform numerous tasks and be organised, but it also gives everyone the chance to express their personality. Desk accessories can transform a boring and ordinary desk into a customised, colourful and fun space to work.

Quality items last a long time and can become a mainstay of a desk, ultimately enhancing your workspace day-to-day. To mark National Stationery Week 2017, we are taking a look at the top tools that can help you to be proud of your desk.

Electric Stationery

Electric desk accessories are a great choice for anyone wishing to boost their productivity, when facing some labour intensive filing tasks at work. For example, an electric stapler can deal with large volumes of paper, making highly repetitive stapling jobs simple and consistent.

Space Saving Stationery

Having an array of accessories to hand certainly doesn’t have to mean your desk will be overloaded, leaving no space to work. Consider items that are specifically made to save precious desk space. Vertically standing staplers are a good example. They are designed to stand upright when not in use, making valuable room available on your desk to store your more of your favourite tools.

Colourful Stationery

It’s well known that certain colours, such as blue and green, can have a positive impact on our productivity and alertness. Brightly coloured accessories are not only useful but also jazz up a dull desk, allowing individuals to express their personal tastes and incorporate the bright colours that help them to work efficiently. Take a look at our bold and bright JOY range.

Simple Stationery

Sometimes even the most inconspicuous-looking item is incredibly useful. For example, an ID Guard may look simple on your desktop but in fact it will come in handy several times a day. Any desk will contain lots of personal information, from junk mail to company bills. An ID Guard ensures that your personal details are not clearly visible to identity thieves, allowing you to blank out names, addresses, date of birth and banking information.

Smart Stationery 

As the workplace gets smarter, so does our stationery. Productivity is a core focus for businesses worldwide and the tools used at work are all designed to ensure we perform all types of office tasks efficiently, to free up time for more important projects. Even scissors are getting smarter! Rexel’s X3 range of scissors provides 300% more cutting power than conventional scissors, making them a useful addition to any desktop.

Latest Stationery

Searching for something new to add to your supplies? A personal whiteboard is the perfect choice. A small memo board like the Diamond Glass Personal Desktop Pad gives any desk a stylish finish and is a great tool to display any important reminders, phone numbers or upcoming meetings to prepare for, in a place you won’t miss it. Glass is also the easiest to clean whiteboard surface, so it will always look smart and clean.

National Stationery Week brings together everyone who appreciates the tools they use everyday, to share their advice and tips on how to create a desk that not only enhances productivity but also stands out. We’d love to know your favourite desk accessory so please share in the comments.

To stay up to date with the latest releases of desk accessories, follow @rexeleurope on Twitter or visit the Rexel website.

Rexel’s top 5 paper shredders for small and medium businesses

Selecting the right paper shredder to use in an SME environment can be confusing. You will no doubt find a lot of information about shredder cut, security level, capacity and speed when researching different models, each claiming to be the right choice for an SME office. This can make the buying process confusing and often results in the purchase of a shredder that doesn’t fully meet your workplace requirements.

Rexel is here to help ensure you get the best shredder that suits your working environment, be that in the office or at home. Here are our top 5 paper shredders for small and medium businesses:

  1. Finance/ HR – Auto+ 750M
  • A high security shredder is essential for these departments. The Auto+ 750M shreds documents into 2,000 pieces providing the security demanded for financial and strategic documents.
  • Auto Feed technology allows up to 750 sheets to be shredded “hands-free” at one time which is ideal for departments generating a lot of printed documents

  1. Executive office – Auto+ 130M
  • Ideal for an executive office, the Auto+ 130M provides P-5 level security that shreds a document into 2,000 pieces. The bin stores up to 26L of shredded paper so doesn’t require emptying too frequently.
  • Documents of up to 130 pages can be loaded into the machine’s chamber and shredded at once.

  1. Marketing/ sales team – Mercury RLX20
  • This machine is designed for volume and is a strong alternative to shredding services that collect and shred off site. Jam Free and Self Clean technology guarantees hassle free and mess free shredding.
  • The RLX20 is designed to serve 20 users and will shred 1,100 sheets before the bin requires emptying.

  1. Warehouse staff – Rexel RLWX39
  • This is a wide entry shredder which means it can shred A3 as well as A4 sheets meaning it’s suitable for shredding delivery and packaging slips of all sizes.
  • A large 175L bin and the ability to cut through staples and paper clips with Jam Free and Self Clean capabilities make this a low maintenance machine ideal for a shift pattern, multi-user environment such as a warehouse.

  1. Home office – Promax RPX612
  • Many domestic shredders will shred for a few minutes and then need to cool down before shredding can continue. The Promax RPX612 overcomes this with superior cooling technology and will run for longer than equivalent models, making it ideal for people who shred in batches.
  • Promax’s small footprint and stylish design makes it ideal for the home office.

Choosing the right shredder for your team

Our interactive shredder selector will simply assess your specific shredding requirements and then provide you with its recommended models based on the information given. Start your shredder search here.

From large shredders to small machines, quiet shredders to models with high security Micro Cut capabilities, Rexel shredders meet all SME requirements. From now until 30th April 2017, you will also receive cashback when purchasing selected Mercury and Auto Feed shredders. Find out more by visiting the Rexel website or following us on Twitter @rexeleurope.

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Communicating with confidence

Speaking in front of an audience, in a major presentation or during a team brainstorm can seem daunting. There are a few simple tips and tricks that can help to build up your confidence and communicate effectively.

Enhancing your skills

Before your next group brainstorm or presentation, here are three ways to help you communicate confidently:

  1. Invest in visual aids – having some visual aids to accompany you whilst speaking is highly effective and can be comforting. Whiteboards are essential for facilitating a fluid brainstorm and can add an extra dimension to a presentation. Presentation laser pointers are also a great way of avoiding performing contortion in front of the projector screen when trying to point out specific points!
  2. Take the time to prepare – preparation is key. Write points on cue cards to refer to in order to ensure you communicate your key points and also incorporate visuals that your audience will engage with. If you are feeling nervous, visiting the room you will be speaking in beforehand is a great tip, so when the time comes, you feel more comfortable in familiar surroundings and know what equipment is or isn’t available.
  3. Introduce mind mapping – involve your audience by allocating time to flesh out ideas and discuss points raised during the session. Use whiteboard pens, a whiteboard or flipchart to display contributions from your audience. A mind map is also a creative way of showing your topic fits into the concerns or functions of your audience as you introduce your presentation. Find more advice on how to mind map successfully in this blog.

Choosing the perfect presentation aids 

Always ensure you have the correct tools to help you communicate confidently. Some are easier to find, for example marker pens, while others take more consideration. Choosing the right whiteboard is crucial, especially if you plan to include mind mapping in your presentation. Nobo offers a comprehensive range, from stunning glass boards to dry erase surfaces and more. To find your perfect whiteboard using Nobo’s selector tool, simply enter your size, erasability and durability requirements and Nobo will do the work for you!

This year, Nobo is also running an exciting prize draw where one lucky winner will receive a £5,000 makeover for their office. There are also 15 desk makeovers to be won each month. To enter, simply purchase a participating Nobo product between 1st January and 31st December 2017. Visit Nobo’s website to find out more.

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How to use mind mapping to run effective brainstorming meetings

We’ve all had that moment standing in front of an audience, either in class or at work, trying to brainstorm ideas with a group of people who have nothing to say. So what can we do to get the conversation flowing?

A mind map is a great solution to encourage colleagues to get involved and brainstorm new ideas. It’s a very simple idea but very effective. Write your object of discussion on a sheet of paper or whiteboard and then create visual “branches” and “sub-branches” of ideas and suggestions related to the discussion point to bring it to life, turning your unproductive meeting into a great brainstorming session. From there you can take the ideas discussed and start formulating a plan to realise them.

The benefits of mind mapping

A flow chart showing the progression of discussion is not only useful as a visual aid, helping to make the session a good meeting but it also has many hidden advantages. Let’s take a closer look at what these are:

  • Adds structure – wild suggestions can be turned into structured ideas
  • Stretches imagination – team members feel encouraged to think outside the box
  • Increases engagement – colleagues feel included as they get the opportunity to pitch in
  • Allows collaboration of ideas – more than one suggestion can often be combined into a much stronger proposition
  • Outlines specific goals – a clear visual journey from idea conception to implementation makes it simple to identify ongoing objectives
  • Improves organisation – the use of coloured marker pens helps keep things clear and easy to follow, making for an effective meeting

The tools you need

The key to a successful mind map is using the right tools. Of course a whiteboard is essential but make sure you have sufficient coloured whiteboard pens and erasers for your session. Our whiteboard selector will help you choose the best Nobo whiteboard for your room so you can allow participants to brainstorm freely on a giant whiteboard surface and alter ideas for more effective meetings.

Find out more about our extensive collection of high performance whiteboards and board accessories by visiting our website or following us on Twitter @Nobo_Europe. Nobo is also running an exciting prize draw throughout 2017. One lucky office will receive a £5,000 makeover to completely refresh their workplace and we’ll also be giving away 15 desk makeovers every month. Simply purchase any Nobo product between 1st January and 31st December 2017 to be in with a chance to win. Visit the Nobo website to learn more.